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PM Narendra Modi invokes ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ to establish an instant rapport with Indian origin Tamils of Sri Lanka

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PM Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

Dickoya (Sri Lanka), May 12, 2017: Invoking his famous ‘chai pe charcha’ concept, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday sought to establish an instant rapport with the Indian origin Tamils of Sri Lanka, who dominate the plantation areas that produce the world famous Ceylon tea.

Not just that, he also spoke a couple of sentences in Tamil saying how delighted he was to meet them and how he considered it a big honour to get an opportunity to talk to them.

“I have a special association with tea,” he said as he began addressing the Indian origin Tamils, whose ancestors settled in this part of Sri Lanka about 200 years ago.

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“Discussion over tea”, which he had introduced during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, “was not just a slogan but a mark of deep respect for dignity and integrity of honest labour”, the Prime Minister said.

This assertion was received with thunderous clapping from the audience which also lapped up his quotes from Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukkural and scholar Kaniyan Poonkundranar to recall how ancient was the Tamil race and their message for the world.

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He also said that the plantation area had given birth to the iconic MGR and famous cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, which again was received with a round of applause.

Modi, on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka primarily to attend the International Vesak Day celebrations, inaugurated a Rs 150 crore super-speciality hospital built with Indian assistance in Dickoya, home to a large Tamil community who are of Indian-origin. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi Engages with Celebrities to Boost Visibility

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote

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India, elections, vietnam, BJP
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged with celebrities across different fields effectively on social media in the run-up to the 2014 general elections to raise his visibility and further his electoral ambitions, as per a US study.

Joyojeet Pal, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, examined more than 9,000 tweets from @narendramodi between February 2009 and October 2015 to research Modi’s engagement with Indian public figures before and after elections.

As per the study, ‘Brand Modi: Decoding social media engagement with celebrities’, there were three distinct phases of engagement that happened in the six years for which he studied Modi’s tweets.

It was noticed in the first phase, Modi reached out to Amitabh Bachchan, businessman Narayana Murthy, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “By engaging with them, he presented the idea that people outside his core support group and with broad followings were willing to engage with him,” Pal said.

Around 2013, his approach moved to getting support for his campaign by referring to various celebrities in his tweets, posing with them, and in some cases, getting their outright endorsement for the campaign. During this phase, celebrity engagement was mainly through pictures showing affiliation.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi.(Wikimedia Commons)

The efforts rounded off post-election when Modi called on celebrities primarily as champions for his initiatives.

According to Pal, this was the phase when Modi presented his initiatives as campaigns with national appeal rather than something imposed on the country.

This, Pal said, was particularly seen with Swachh Bharat, a national movement to clean up India’s roads and infrastructure, and, subsequently, with demonetisation. Celebrity engagement at these points presents the views of a collaborative, thoughtful leader.

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Number of Modi’s Twitter followers stands at 46.6 million, and he continues to engage with celebrities.

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote. (IANS)